Marcus Smart shut down for remainder of Team USA’s FIBA World Cup games
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has been shut down for the remainder of the 2019 FIBA World Cup, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Smart had every intention to play in Team USA’s final two games, but is nursing minor injuries and the team decided it was best to avoid further injury.
The defensive ace underwent X-rays on a left knuckle injury this week, which came back negative, but soreness in his hand along with quad and calf soreness that had plagued him coming into the World Cup led to the decision to shut him down for the rest of this competition.
Smart had made palpable contributions on the defensive end coming off the bench, including a memorable fallaway 3-pointer in the third quarter against Brazil, but will now have to sit the next two games out as the U.S. looks to lock down a top-five spot after being eliminated by France earlier on Wednesday.
Team USA will face Serbia next on Thursday to finish among the top six in this World Cup, a win against them will mean another game to fight for fifth place, which would be the worst result by a United States team since 2002 when they finished sixth in the World Cup held in Indiana.
Smart has gotten plenty of time along his three other Celtics teammates: Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and newcomer Kemba Walker — though this run with Team USA likely didn’t yield the results they all wanted after losing in the first elimination game.